MDALLEGA-L ArchivesArchiver > MDALLEGA > 2002-01 > 1011108463
From: Jocelyn Wilms <>
Subject: [MDAll'gny] 1880 census CDs
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 10:27:50 -0600
The 1880 census on CDs is a wonderful research tool. Of course there are errors. The work was done by humans! If you have ever looked at an actual census 'book' you will find all kinds of errors there. Knowing the exact work done by the LDS Church, if the records were transcribed by prison inmates, I'm sure the people
responsible for the work made sure the 'rules' were followed. Not all prisoners are illiterate.
The census on microfilm was copied from the actual pages, that the census taker produced, which were gathered and sewn into books, then bound. For instance, the 1880 census of Ohio is in the Ohio Genealogical Society Library in Mansfield. In The National Archives the books are available for actual 'reading' only if the
microfilm is too poor to read.
When you started your genealogical 'tree climb' you should have quickly learned that your name WASN'T always spelled 'Jones.' Sometimes you found it 'Joans.' So be creative in your thinking and you should be able to locate your people. If your ancestors were recent immigrants and didn't speak English too well, their accents
sometimes made it hard for the census taker to understand. Names were spelled phonetically if the census taker wasn't sure about the spelling.
One of the lines in our family is Hinchcliffe. Many times found as Inchcliff. Our Walter came here just before the Civil War, and his English didn't pronounce the 'H.'
Remember a game called "Telephone?" Everyone stood in a circle - the first person whispered a little story to the next person in line - he whispered it to the next person, etc., etc. When the last person repeated the story out loud, there was little resemblance to the original!
So it is with 'official' records. Mistakes were made, are made and will be made as long as human beings generate the records.
Jocelyn in Ohio
|[MDAll'gny] 1880 census CDs by Jocelyn Wilms <>|